Whether you’re the team captain, co-captain, or a senior on your cheer team, you’re looked at as a leader in your teammates eyes. They look to go you when stunts don’t hit, when routines aren’t sharp, when cheers aren’t right and pretty much everything else.  You are the go-to girl/guy when it comes to what’s best for the team.


So how do you take on all that pressure and still be the best cheerleader and teammate you can be? Here’s a few tips!


First of all, be a role model. Be the cheerleader you’d want as your role model, and the kind of teammate you would want to have. Show up on time, know your cheers and chants, be respectful to your teammates and coaches. As a leader just remember, YOU have to be the example!

Second, you need to keep energy levels high. Coaches and teammates are going to look to you when it’s time practice and perform. From the minute you start stretching at practice, to the last second on the competition floor, you need to be excited and confident in your team. When you’re energy is up, it rubs off on everyone else around. Get excited because you do the best sport in the entire world!


You of course will need to be responsible and dependable. You need to keep up to date with all information. Practice locations, competition dates, which uniform you’re wearing that day and what forms need turned in. You want to keep your squad on track, so YOU need to stay on track. Get a journal or planner, write down dates and times. Send out texts once or twice a week with reminders. Your teammates are going to ask YOU the questions, so you must be prepared with answers.


As a leader it’s so crucial that you never treat your teammates as less than yourself. When we get into leadership roles we tend to think we are better than other people just because we hold a certain authoritative role. No cheerleading team is made up of one person, and one person can’t perform an entire routine. Each member of your team is there for a reason, and is a necessary part of the puzzle. Don’t treat anyone like they’re not as good as you; they made the same team you’re on, and you need them perform your team duties for the year. Treat EVERYONE with respect.


I know this isn’t the easiest job, but just remember you were picked for a reason. Stick to these few tips and tricks and you’ll be sure not to fail. Stay confident in yourself and your team, and everything will run smoothly!

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Sammie Litten is University of Central Florida cheerleading alumni living and working in Orlando. She continues to spread her love and passion for cheer every day. She has been a cheerleader since the young age of 4 and enjoys many aspects of cheerleading such as co-ed partner stunting, game day cheers, working out, and doing her game day hair and makeup. Her favorite cheer memory is cheering on her Knights in Ireland against Penn State. 

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